Set to debut on Oct. 4, the service does not require AOL membership.
AOL announced today that it will begin rolling out its TotalTalk VoIP service on October 4. An AOL subscription is not required, and current AOL Internet Phone subscribers will be upgraded to the new service automatically.
The TotalTalk service transforms any high-speed Internet connection into a phone service that AOL says is simple to use and affordable. The goal is a savings of up to 40% off monthly phone bills when compared to traditional landline service. The TotalTalk service includes:
A "soft phone" that enables free PC-to-PC calls and PC-to-Phone calling via a Preview Edition of the AIM Triton client.
Unified voice, e-mail and instant messaging.
Enhanced voicemail and call management capabilities
Capability to make and receive calls on a regular phone line from anywhere users have access to AIM.
The service also includes (at no additional cost) many phone features including call waiting, caller ID, 911 emergency calling, star codes, voice mail integrated with e-mail, and three-way calling.
A Web-based Dashboard provides flexible, easy to use call management features such as: on-screen call alerts with call handling; call forwarding preferences; at-a-glance logs of incoming and outgoing calls; a frequently called number list; click-to-call features, and integration with address books.
TotalTalk makes it possible to manage and retrieve both voice and e-mail messages from any touchtone phone or Web browser. Voicemail messages appear together with e-mail messages, and SMS alerts can be sent to mobile devices when a voicemail is left.
Users can download the Preview Edition of the AIM Triton software later this week, which will gain access to a "soft phone" feature that enables them to make and answer phone calls on their home line through either the phone or the PC. An AIM-connected PC headset or USB phone is required.
The soft phone feature is accessible from anywhere a user can log onto AIM, and provides easy access to AIM Talk, a free PC-to-PC calling feature that includes multi-party chat capabilities, and a built-in dial pad to make PC-to-Phone calls, which are billed at home rates. Unlike other providers, the TotalTalk service includes these soft phone capabilities at no additional charge.
In other news, AOL announced three new partnerships to bring industry-leading audio and video conferencing to its suite of voice and instant messaging products. AOL has worked closely with open source solution provider Pingtel, Global IP Sound, and On2 on custom-developed solutions that will deliver state-of-the-art audio and video quality, simplify connections behind firewalls, and provide SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) standard compliance and more to TotalTalk and AIM.
2014 Next-Gen WAN SurveyWhile 68% say demand for WAN bandwidth will increase, just 15% are in the process of bringing new services or more capacity online now. For 26%, cost is the problem. Enter vendors from Aryaka to Cisco to Pertino, all looking to use cloud to transform how IT delivers wide-area connectivity.
The UC Infrastructure TrapWorries about subpar networks tanking unified communications programs could be valid: Thirty-one percent of respondents have rolled capabilities out to less than 10% of users vs. 21% delivering UC to 76% or more. Is low uptake a result of strained infrastructures delivering poor performance?